Tag:C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: July 29, 2011 6:49 pm

Zito's Sunday start may be his last

Barry ZitoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Sunday may be Barry Zito's last start of the season for the Giants.

The left-hander will face-off against the Reds' Johnny Cueto on Sunday, but after that Jonathan Sanchez will be ready to come back to San Francisco's rotation.

"It'll come down to who we think are the five guys who are throwing the best, similar to what we had to do in the postseason," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, including Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "That was four starters and this is five, but it's the same situation."

And likely the same result -- Zito out.

Zito is 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA in eight starts this season. After starting the season 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in his first six starts, he's been shelled in each of his last two outings. The offensively challenged Padres lit him up for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on July 16 and the Phillies put up six runs on six hits in seven innings on Tuesday. 

Zito has two years left on his contract, paying him $39 million over the next two seasons and he'll then get a $7 million buyout when the club declines its 2014 option. He also has a full no-trade clause.

Sanchez is 4-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 16 starts, but hasn't pitched since June 24 with left biceps tendinitis. He led the majors in walks when he was put on the DL and had walked 25 batters in 25 2/3 innings in June.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 5:59 pm

Ramirez wants to stay with Cubs

Aramis RamirezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez said he was "misunderstood" on Thursday when it was reported he'd consider waiving his no-trade protectionfor the right deal, and on Friday he told reporters as much.

From the Chicago Tribune:

"I want to stay here and [general manager Jim Hendry] wants me here … If he doesn't want to trade me, he ain't gonna listen to offer."

As for if Ramirez would say no to a trade, well, he backed off the hard stance, "That has to happen first," he said. "After that happens, I'll see what's going on." 

Ramirez said he talked to Hendry on Thursday to make sure the GM knew Ramirez preferred to stay in Chicago.

The Cubs hold a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, but are unlikely to pick it up. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller noted the Angels would love to add Ramirez to their lineup.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 4:35 pm

On Deck: 2 hitting streaks on the line


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Emilio BonifacioHitting streak, Part 1:
Emilio Bonifacio heads into tonight's game in Atlanta with a  26-game hitting streak, four games shy of the longest of the season, set by Andre Ethier. Bonifacio is hitting .390/.479/.430 during the streak and not only has 39 hits, but also 17 walks. He was hitting .259 when the streak started and is now hitting .299. Bonifacio has never faced Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (3-2, 3.58 ERA). Right-hander Clay Hensley (1-2, 2.88) starts for the Marlins. Marlins at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET

Dustin PedroiaHitting streak, Part 2: Dustin Pedroia an eighth-inning homer to extended his streak in a loss to the Royals on Thursday and has nine homers during his 25-game hitting streak. He's hitting .404/.459//752 during the streak with 19 of his 44 hits going for extra bases. He's walked 12 times and struck out just seven times. Pedroia is 5 for 18 (.278) in his career against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.11). Boston starter Tim Wakefield is going for his 200th career victory on Friday. He's 2-1 over his last five starts despite a 7.06 ERA. Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

Erik BedardLast start in Seattle?: It won't just be Rays fans and Mariners fans watching Friday's game at Safeco Field closely, scouts and front-office folks will certainly be tuning in or showing up to see how Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard pitches. The 32-year-old left-hander is making what is probably his last start as a Mariner, but tonight's start could determine how much Jack Zduriencik gets in return for Bedard. He missed his last four starts with a sprained left knee. Bedard is 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in his last 11 starts. Boston is said to be the most interested in Bedard, along with the Yankees and Tigers. Rays at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Thursday afternoon rumor roundup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It appears the Padres' Heath Bell may be the next big name off the trade board. CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller writes the talks are heating up, but there's still plenty of other trade rumors out there, so here we go:

• The Red Sox are looking at starting pitching, but they are telling team's they're focused on a right-handed-hitting outfielder, CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler tweeted.

• Knobler also reports the Tigers are down to three options for a starter -- Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Guthrie.

• Have the Red Sox and Mariners matched up for a deal? FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports the Mariners had two scouts watching the Red Sox's Triple-A team on Wednesday and another eyeing the Double-A team. The Red Sox are "all over" left-hander Erik Bedard, a source told Rosenthal. Boston could also be interested in right-hander Doug Fister or closer Brandon League, too.

• Bell expects to be a Ranger by Friday. Why? His parents are flying in from Texas on Thursday to spend 10 days with his family in San Diego, Bell joked to reporters after Wednesday night's game. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune also says the Braves, Indians and Reds are the most interested in Ryan Ludwick, but you may want to cross the Indians off the list after they acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs on Thursday. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets that the Philles are also interested.

• After Wednesday's loss to the Rockies, Kuroda -- who has a no-trade clause -- told reporters, "My honest feeling is that I can't fathom wearing another uniform [other] than the Dodgers uniform right now." Still, MLB.com's Ken Gurick writes the Indians, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Tigers are still making a push for the right-hander. 

• The Brewers are interested in the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal and Jamey Carroll, but the Dodgers will only trade one of the two, Rosenthal writes. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark said the Giants have talked to Los Angeles about Furcal.

• La Valle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the Twins aren't looking to deal Denard Span, but notes the Nationals may be interested in Ben Revere or prospects Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks.

The rumor on Wednesday was that the teams were considering a Span for Drew Storen trade, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson cites a "baseball source" as saying the Nationals wouldn't do that deal.

• The Twins are looking for bullpen help, FoxSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby writes, and could be targeting the Rockies. Colorado could deal right-handers Rafael Betancourt, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Belisle, and could even give up closer Huston Street for the right price. The Rockies would be interested in Minnesota's Kevin Slowey.

• Rangers manager Ron Washington reiterates his call for bullpen help. The team is apparently interested in Bell and Leo Nunez, with Robbie Erlin and Chris Davis being dangled.

• The Phillies have given up on getting Houston's Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. The Braves are the last team in on Pence, he said.

• The Mariners will be busy selling off pieces between now and Sunday's deadline, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes.

• The Cardinals are focusing on middle-infield help, Rosenthal tweets, as shortstop Ryan Theriot struggles.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:49 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:23 pm

5 under-the-radar trade targets to watch

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sure, Carlos Beltran has been traded and there are still waves about Ubaldo Jimenez and other big names, but often it's the role players that are important in a pennant race. Here's guys that won't exactly stop the press, but could make a new team very happy they made a deal:

Josh Willingham1. Josh Willingham, Athletics: While not quite as sexy an acquisition as Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence, B.J. Upton or even Ryan Ludwick, Willingham is certainly in demand.

Willingham is currently hitting .240/.327/.428 -- turning in his lowest OPS since becoming a regular big-leaguer. Playing in pitcher-friendly Oakland certainly doesn't help, but he does have 13 home runs in 324 plate appearances and a career .363 on-base percentage. Willingham has 116 career homers and could supply some pop to a team that needs a right-handed bat, and there are plenty of those. Both the Braves and Red Sox are in need of a right-handed bat in the outfield.

Willingham is a free agent after the season and currently projects as a Type A free agent, so it's possible the A's keep him if nobody meets their asking price.

Jamey Carroll2. Jamey Carroll, Dodgers: Carroll was a guy that was getting interest from Milwaukee before Rickie Weeks suffered a severely sprained ankle on Wednesday, and now he makes even more sense.

Not a bopper by any stretch of the imagination (he has just 12 career homers in 3,273 career plate appearances -- that's one homer every 272.75 plate appearances, and none since 2009), but he's a solid, steady bat hitting .291/.362/.356, a line that's pretty consistent with his .277/.356/.349 career slash line.

The 37-year-old can play around the infield and would step in at second for the Brewers -- and even be part of a mini-youth movement in Milwaukee where he'd take over the spot of 40-year-old Craig Counsell

The Indians are also interested in Carroll, who played in Cleveland in 2008 and 2009. There he would be used to back up rookies Jason Kipnis at second and Lonnie Chisenall at third base.

Coco Crisp3. Coco Crisp, Athletics: Crisp isn't having his best season, but the veteran center fielder could still help plenty of teams looking to shore up an outfield rotation or add a fourth outfielder.

Hitting .266/.317/.384 for Oakland this season, the 31-year-old has seen his stats drop from last season, and his .317 on-base percentage is his lowest since 2006. He does have 27 stolen bases, just five from his career-best.

CBSSports.com colleague Scott Miller made an interesting observation about Crisp, saying he's similar to Dave Roberts in 2004. Red Sox fans don't have to be reminded about Roberts' impact on Boston's title chase. 

The Indians and Reds have shown interest in Crisp, who could also help out the Pirates.

Koji Uehara4. Koji Uehara, Orioles: He's not exactly a household name, but the 36-year-old Japanese right-hander has been one of the game’s best relievers the last couple of years. 

Uehara has a 1.80 ERA this season in 45 innings, striking out 59 and walking eight. His WHIP is down to 0.689, but he has given up six homer so far this season, but that's about the only chink in his armor. In his career he's struck out 6.48 hitters for every walk.

Last season he closed some for the Orioles and converted 13 of 15 chances, so he could even fill that role if needed.

The Rangers, Pirates, Tigers and Twins have shown interest in him. He would upgrade any bullpen he joins.

Clint Barmes5. Clint Barmes, Astros: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And in the NL Central, Clint Barmes is a legitimate shortstop.

The Astros traded for the player better known as the guy before Troy Tulowitzki in Colorado or the guy who fell down the stairs carrying deer meat, but he's had a decent season in Houston. He's hitting .254/.320/.402 with seven homers for the Astros. Better yet, he's a good defensive shortstop -- and Ozzie Smith compared to the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt, Edgar Renteria and Ryan Theriot.

CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler wrote the Brewers are interested in Barmes. The Brewers added Felipe Lopez on Thursday, but Lopez is not a legitimate shortstop (of course, neither is Betancourt) and will report to Triple-A.

Another team to watch may be the Diamondbacks, who lost Stephen Drew to a broken ankle. 

Barmes is a free agent after the season.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:51 pm

Brewers acquire Lopez from Rays

Felipe LopezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The same day the Brewers officially placed Rickie Weeks on the disabled list, they added an infielder -- trading for Felipe Lopez of the Rays.

Lopez, a former All-Star, was with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate in Durham and was acquired for cash considerations, the Brewers announced. He will report to Milwaukee's Triple-A team in Nashville.

Lopez played in MIlwaukee at the end of the 2009 season and has played for a total of eight different teams in parts of 10 seasons, but has lasted nowhere more than four seasons. This season he landed in Joe Maddon's doghouse after flipping his bat following a home run and then two weeks later benched him for lack of hustle.

In 32 games for the Rays, he hit .216/.248/.320. At Triple-A Durham, he's hit .305/.357/.474 with seven home runs and 37 RBI.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 7:17 pm

Former Yankee Irabu found dead

Hideki IrabuBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Former Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead in his Pales Verdes, Calif., home on Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department told CBSSports.com.

"Deputies responded to a call at his Palos Verdes home at 4:25 p.m. [Wednesday] and discovered him deceased from an apparently suicide," a spokesman said Thursday afternoon.

Irabu was 42. 

Irabu played for the Yankees, Expos and Rangers, last pitching in the big leagues in 2002.

The Yankees have released the following statement (via Star-Ledger on Twitter):

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hideki Irabu. Every player that wears the Pinstripes is forever a part of the Yankees family, and his death is felt throughout our organization. Our sympathies and support go out to his wife, Kyonsu, his two children, and all of his friends and loved ones.”

The Padres purchased his contract in 1997, but he refused to sign, saying he'd only play for the Yankees. The Padres eventually traded for Irabu's rights and signed him to a four-year deal worth $12.8 million. He played in six seasons in the big leagues and went 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 2:54 pm

Tempers flare in Detroit

Brad PennyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Tigers may be in first place in the American League Central, but things still seemed a little tense during Thursday afternoon's game with the Angels when starter Brad Penny and catcher Victor Martinez got into a spat on the mound.

With Peter Bourjos at the plate, Martinez called for a ball out wide of the strike zone and Penny threw the a pitch inside that Bourjos smacked into left for a double, scoring the Angles' second run of the fourth inning. Martinez then went to the mound to talk to the pitcher and Penny appeared to take offense to whatever was said and started to walk away before getting angry.

Martinez started walking away, but with Penny yelling at him, he returned to the mound. The two were face-to-face, although it didn't appear that it was coming close to blows, just a strong disagreement. As  Penny continued to yell at Martinez, pitching coach Jeff Jones got between the two.

Penny stayed in the game, getting Jeff Mathis on a sacrifice bunt before allowing another run to score on Erick Aybar's single to right. That's when Jim Leyland came out to get Penny. The Tigers brought in lefty Charlie Furbush to replace Penny, and he gave up an RBI single to Torii Hunter to close the book on Penny, who allowed nine hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. He didn't strike out a batter and allowed a walk and a homer, watching his ERA rise to 4.89 this season. He's 7-7 coming into the game.

It should be noted, the Tigers have been hoping to upgrade their rotation at the trade deadline, and this outburst can't help but intensify those talks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com